Saturday, October 02, 2004

Political Inversion

This one is my analysis of Andrew Sullivan's analysis of a David Brooks column in the New York Times (registration required). Brooks separates the candidates according to their apparent foci: Kerry on process and Bush on ideal:

The atmosphere of Kerry's mind is rationalistic. He thinks about how to get things done. He talks like a manager or an engineer.

The atmosphere of Bush's mind is more creedal or ethical. He talks about moral challenges. He talks about the sort of personal and national character we need in order to triumph over our enemies. His mind is less coldly secular than Kerry's, but also more abstracted from day-to-day reality.

Andrew Sullivan largely agrees with the assesment and follows it up with the aforementioned political inversion:

But what strikes me in Brooks' defense of Bush is how it's traditionally a liberal defense of a liberal president. It's liberalism that has historically enunciated grand, abstract themes and conservatism that has always emphasized the difficulty of translating abstraction into reality, of finding the proper means to achieve certain ends, of the limits of our intellect when faced with the world of practical life.

So who was the brain surgeon who came up with this triangulation nonsense? I don't recall, but the way my head aches, I sure could use one.

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